One Christian gay guy’s thoughts and experiences along this whirlwind journey called life.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Conflicts In Desire
As some of you may or may not know, the title of this post is a play on words to the Joe Dallas book, “Desires In Conflict”. I honestly just felt like being silly, but that actually explains how I'm feeling right now. I feel... conflicted.
First off, I'm not sure I want to keep this template for my blog. I'd changed it about a month ago, but I've been wondering if that was a good thing or not. I actually find myself pining over the old look (for those who can't remember, it was the same as Jay's blog). What do you all think? Keep it as is, or go back to the old look? I can't make up my mind.
Okay, so now that that's out of the way, I'll get to the real issues at hand. First off, I'm not too sure I want to spend so much of my time trying to change my sexual orientation anymore. Now, wait a minute, before anyone freaks out, let me explain.
A few weeks ago, I was going through a short period of depression—confused, frustrated, lonely, distanced from God, trying to get into the Christmas mood—and I just felt so very tired. I felt like I honestly just couldn't go another minute without collapsing. I remember thinking, I just want my life to be better. I don't want to go through this anymore. I don't want to think about any of this stuff (my struggles) anymore. I kept praying to God, trying to figure things out, and the message I kept hearing was “Give up”. I felt like God was telling me to stop what I'd been doing and to give myself to Him; to trust Him, and allow Him to take full control of my life. I felt like He was telling me to stop thinking about all of the things that's been bothering me and to instead put all of my focus on Him. But, I'll admit, I was resisting doing that.
What helped, or what changed that, was when I read the book “God's Grace and the Homosexual Next Door”. While reading that, there was a particular passage that really made me think differently about God. One of the authors had made reference to God as “Abba”, or daddy. And that really got me to thinking. I had often heard God referred to as “Father”, but I'd never truly applied that understanding of God to my own relationship with Him. And I wondered, Could God really want to be a dad to me? Does He really love me like that? Does He really want me to be His son? Does God really want to know me, to spend time with me, to care for me, and to love me? I thought about all of this for many days and the answer I received was an emphatic “Yes!”. And when I realized that, I suddenly felt such a tremendous rush of love from God, and for God. I felt like every bit of me was being drawn so close to Him, and that felt so incredibly good. For the first time in my life, I finally realized what it was to know God as Father; to have a genuine father/son relationship with Him. That made me just want to be His completely.
I noticed, during that time, that all the worries, frustrations, feelings of loneliness, confusion—all of that—just seemed to have left me. And that got me to considering something. And this is something that I've struggled with somewhat the last couple of weeks. I feel like God is telling me not to worry or focus anymore on whether I'm gay or straight. I'm not so sure that that really matters to Him. Now, when I say that, I'm not saying that I feel like God is telling me it's okay for me to just give up my fight against homosexuality and just be gay, but just that, my attractions are not what's most important to Him. I don't think God holds it against me (or anyone else) for having same-sex attractions. When I see a guy walking down the street and my mind suddenly tells me, “Wow, he's really cute,” I don't believe God would consider that to be a sin. Now, if I were to lust after that guy, yeah, I do still think that would be a sin, but what I'm talking about here is immediate thought process—the first thought that came to my mind when I saw that other guy. So, I've been thinking, if that's not a sin, and if God doesn't hold that against me, then why should I? Why should I hold that against myself? Why should I struggle day in and day out, worrying and getting frustrated with myself, because of something I really don't think God is asking me to do? The only thing God has ever asked is for us to follow Him, to have faith in Him, to love Him, to obey His commandments, and to spread His word and reach out to others. Nowhere, in any of that, do I see God telling me that the only way I can truly be holy is to be straight. I don't think He requires a person to be straight, or attracted to members of the opposite sex, in order to be holy in His sight. God doesn't ask me to change my attractions. Those attractions are really nothing more than the product of Satan, and I can't control what Satan throws at me. What I can do, is obey God and not act out on those attractions, and not put myself in situations for those attractions to grow. I can resist them with everything I've got. And really, I think that's enough. That's all God ever asks of any of us, is to stand firm and not give into the evils of the world. Thing is, I'm not saying I think it's impossible for me to change my sexual orientation anymore. I do still think that I can. But, I don't think I can do that by focusing all the time on what attractions I have. I think, if any real change is ever going to come about, it'll happen because of God. I realize that thinking and trying all the time to change my sexual desires and the other problems of my life does not help to bring about any of that change. It's only when I focus on God, when I open up my heart to Him, when I trust Him and follow Him and obey Him, that any change ever takes place.
So, I've decided I'm going to focus my life more on building a stronger relationship with God. I'm going to spend more time with Him, in prayer and in reading His word. I'm going to go to church more—even if in church I sometimes feel like an outcast; I'll go in order to worship Him and to spend time with His people. I'm going to trust Him. I'm going to reach out to others more, to love them, to help them, to build them up, and to hopefully bring them to God. That's what I'm going to focus on from now on. Not whether I find that guy walking down the street attractive or not, but on living my life one-hundred percent for God. I'm going to give up, and allow God to have complete control over my life. I think that, what change will happen in my life, will happen because of that.
I am still going to be working on myself though. There are still things I know I need to address in my life. I need to make sure all pornography is gone and stays gone. I need to quit envying or coveting other guys. I need to stop viewing myself and others in certain ways and to see people more as God sees them. There are still things I know I need to work on, and I'm going to continue marching forward in that battle.
Okay, so getting back to conflicts. After having just laid out my new game-plan to everyone, I'll admit that I'm nervous about it. Anytime I question such things I tend to question everything about where I stand on all issues. I can see very clearly where it would be easy for me to leap from this new stance to thinking differently about other things as well. That puts me on edge, because I don't want to be confused or go down the wrong road without realizing it. And then that thought makes me wonder if I've already gotten off path. I am curious about what all of you think. I need some feedback. Am I on the right approach to this or not?
Lastly, I became curious the other night while on facebook and decided to enter the name of one of the guys I'd seen in some pornography awhile back in a search. To my amazement, the guy's name was real and he does actually have a profile on facebook. When I found that, I had this instant thought to send him a message telling him how much God loves him and wants to know him. I'm conflicted about doing that though, because I'm not sure if that was God telling me to do that, or if it was something else.